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My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
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My Absolute Darling

by Gabriel Tallent

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5594025,512 (3.85)20
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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
This book has been termed a masterpiece and it certainly is. The book, its language, its story are as lush, beautiful, and menacing as the world Turtle inhabits in Northern California. My Absolute Darling is at times so beautiful you reread paragraphs to savor the beauty of the language and the pictures it evokes in your mind. And then the horror presents itself and you cringe, want to put it down, but like Turtle you continue on, you need to continue on.

Yes it is a very difficult book to read, but 14 year old Turtle has so much to show us, to teach us, to make us feel, question and understand. ( )
  jslantz1948 | Sep 15, 2018 |
This book has been termed a masterpiece and it certainly is. The book, its language, its story are as lush, beautiful, and menacing as the world Turtle inhabits in Northern California. My Absolute Darling is at times so beautiful you reread paragraphs to savor the beauty of the language and the pictures it evokes in your mind. And then the horror presents itself and you cringe, want to put it down, but like Turtle you continue on, you need to continue on.

Yes it is a very difficult book to read, but 14 year old Turtle has so much to show us, to teach us, to make us feel, question and understand. ( )
  jslantz1948 | Sep 15, 2018 |
This book is a calculated mash up of guns violence sexual assault rape And a Jennifer Lawrence character. Yet, we commended the author for not genteelly stepping away when women are degraded tortured and murdered. ( )
  jconnell | Aug 14, 2018 |
This was one of the most disturbing books that iv'e read in a very long time. The writing was so nice, the content just awful! It was so highly recommended and I had such high hopes. I would NEVER recommend this book to anyone without telling them exactly why they should and should NOT read it! ( )
  LASMIT | Jun 1, 2018 |
This is a painfully difficult book to review, much less rate, because I can justify anything from a qualified pan (qualified because the writing is just too good to dismiss the book altogether) to an unqualified rave.

The good parts: The writing is just exquisite. And the story is gripping. When I read the last hundred pages last night I found myself simultaneously reading faster to find out what would happen and forcing myself to slow down so I could appreciate the prose. I also thought that Turtle, in particular, was a memorable and believable character who really sprang from the page.

The bad parts: The book is compelling, but it is also just too much. If your book can reasonably be described as "darker than A Little Life" you have gone too dark. In addition, some of the teenage boys have utterly terrible dialogue, which surprised me since the author was a teenage boy not so very long before he wrote this book. Which brings me to my main issue with the book: it is difficult to forget that it is written by a man, and knowing that it is makes its blunt brutality and unsparing descriptions of Turtle's relationship with her father even more unsettling than they would be otherwise.

The upshot here is that I think this book is brilliantly written and makes Gabriel Tallent a writer to watch in the future (it's hard to believe that a novel this polished is a debut). Also, I've been up since 4 a.m. because I had a nightmare about it, and I can't sincerely recommend it to anyone because I wish I hadn't read it. So how many stars does that translate to? ( )
1 vote GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0735211175, Hardcover)

A brilliant and immersive, all-consuming read about one fourteen-year-old girl's heart-stopping fight for her own soul.

Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father.

Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. The reader tracks Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, and watches, heart in throat, as she struggles to become her own hero--and in the process, becomes ours as well.

Shot through with striking language in a fierce natural setting, My Absolute Darling is an urgently told, profoundly moving read that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 28 Mar 2017 20:33:57 -0400)

Turtle Alveston "has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father. Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable"--… (more)

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